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Stocks decline 0.41%, down sixth day straight

Aug 08,2019
Shares fell for the sixth consecutive session Wednesday as market sentiment remained fragile with trade tensions between Washington and Beijing escalating. The won held steady against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi declined 7.79 points, or 0.41 percent, to close at 1,909.71, marking the lowest level since Feb. 18, 2016, when the index stood at 1,908.84.

It was the first time in about five months that the main bourse extended losses for a sixth straight session.

Trading volume was moderate at 752 million shares worth 5.3 trillion won ($4.4 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 530 to 300.

Market anxiety has deepened as the tit-for-tat measures signaled that the trade spat may morph into a full-blown currency war.

In its latest tweak to the prolonged trade spat, China allowed the yuan to fall below the 7-per-dollar level early this week, prompting the United States to designate Beijing a currency manipulator.

Suh Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, said investors remained cautious about the trade tension between Washington and Beijing, although a sell-off of local stocks appears to be easing after Wall Street gains.

Foreign and institutional investors sold a net 196 billion won worth of local stocks, while retail investors bought a net 177 billion won.

Large caps traded mixed, with Samsung Electronics falling 0.69 percent to end at 43,200 won and SK Hynix, a global chipmaker, gaining 1.81 percent to 73,300 won. LG Electronics fell 1.00 percent to 59,600 won.

Bio shares ended mixed. Celltrion gained 1.37 percent to 148,500 won, but Samsung BioLogics fell 1.38 percent to 249,500 won. Hanmi Pharmaceutical inched down 0.56 percent to 267,500 won.

Automakers traded in positive terrain, with Hyundai Motor up 0.79 percent to 127,000 won and Kia Motors climbing 0.96 percent to 41,050 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis added 0.42 percent to 238,000 won.

Kakao gained 1.23 percent to 123,500 won, and Naver lost 0.72 percent to 137,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq gained 13.14 points, or 2.38 percent, to close at 564.64.

The local currency closed at 1,214.90 won against the dollar, down 0.4 won.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds lost 1.0 basis point to 1.153 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds fell 0.5 basis points to 1.251 percent.

BY KO JUN-TAE, YONHAP [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]